Queen's University

Wizard of Oz celebrates 75 years of success: Queen's University expert

2013-11-12

Queen’s University musical theatre expert Tim Fort is available to comment on the 75th anniversary of the Wizard of Oz and the opening of the 3D IMAX movie on September 20. A professor in the drama department, Dr. Fort is available to comment on the music in the Wizard of Oz and also the number of successful musical theatre versions of the story that have been inspired by the movie.

“The movie, even more than the original L. Frank Baum stories, has made the Wizard of Oz characters into universal archetypes and given rise to at least three hit musical scores,” says Fort.  “ Almost everyone can sing songs like ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ or ‘We’re Off to See the Wizard’ from the 1939 film and the subsequent stage version based on the film .  But hit songs like  “Ease on Down the Road” emerged from the 1970's stage musical The Wiz which reinvented the characters as urban African- Americans while the current mega-hit musical Wicked digs even deeper into the film’s central theme of empowering young women by inverting the storytelling to focus on the coming of age of the misunderstood Wicked Witch of the East.”

Along with teaching drama at Queen’s since 1986, Dr. Fort has also spent the past 40 years at the Weston Playhouse in Weston Vermont. He has directed more than 50 musicals including Les Miserables, Avenue Q and 42nd Street.

To arrange an interview, please contact communication officer Anne Craig at 613-533-2877 or anne.craig@queensu.ca or Rosie Hales at 613-533-6000 ext. 77513 or rosie.hales@queensu.ca at Queen’s University News and Media Services Department in Kingston, Ont., Canada.

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